Climbing rose suggestion for zone 4

kaks_in(z5)January 25, 2013

Can anyone give me a recommendation for a climbing rose for zone 4. I've found most are zone 5 or warmer and we would like to plant climbers at our northern vacation place.

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karl_bapst_rosenut(5a, NW Indiana)

Something you can plant and not have to worry about much dieback would be Quadra, a Canadian Explorer heardy to minus 40 and Ramblin Red by Bill Radler of KnockOut fame.
Both are red and repeat all summer.
My Darlow's Enigma also is hardy but is more of a really large shrub than a climber. It's white with tiny flowers

    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 10:26PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

There aren't many climbers that are CANE hardy in zone 4. Be aware that there is a distinct difference between the roots or base of the plant being hardy enough to survive and come back again in spring, and a rose that will survive right out to its tips - which is what you want in a climber. And some of the climbers I could recommend for you would be once blooming as well which is probably not what you're looking for if you are only at this property now and then. Karl is so very right with recommending the Canadian Explorer roses like John Davis, William Baffin or Capt.Samuel Holland. They're all really shrub roses; some are really *large* shrub roses, but can be trained into climbing with some effort. Ramblin' Red, however, I personally can't recommend as being truly cane hardy in a real zone 4 winter. Mine in most years is just a sprawling 4' plant, but YMMV.
Honestly, if you have visions of rose covered arbors or pergolas all summer long, you are in for some disappointment. If all you want is a tall-ish sort of rose against a trellis, perhaps near a building that might offer some buffering from winter winds, or if you have a fence you would like to accent you should probably be able to find a rose to do it. It all depends on what you are expecting. Zone 4 is tough on roses that stand up above the snowline.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 7:25AM
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Thank you Karl and Anne, it looks like I will have to get shrub roses and hope to get a similar look; so I've noted the names from you (thanks so much!) but can't let go of that vision of climbers quite yet. We do have a fairly well protected corner facing I may try
Ramblin Red. It won't be framing the entrance my vison..but would be close.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 8:11AM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Oh heavens! Ramblin' Red framing an entrance has one other very important drawback for you to consider: stiff canes loaded with big THORNS!!! Lots of reach-out-and-grabbing-any-nearby-clothing-or-tender-skin-thorns. Do consider what type of prickles a rose has or has not (some are quite armored, others almost thornless.) For an entry rose, you definitely want the latter. Perhaps Victorian Memory would suit? In my 8 years of growing it, it was pretty much cane hardy in zone 4; it has some repeat bloom and is almost thornless. I got mine from High Country Roses and keep in mind it will come to you small and take about 3 years to mature into a real climber. But it ultimately reaches 9 to 12,' has nodding loosely double pink blend and somewhat fragrant blooms. Also known as "Isabella Skinner," it's the best I can think of for your situation as you have described it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Victorian Memory/Isabella Skinner at HMF

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:16AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

Perhaps queen of Denmark.
My firends in Montana have a Banshee of sorts that grows 10 feet tall and is hardy to at least zone 3. I think they sell a version of this plant at High country gardens. Banshee. I just checked and they have it but it doesn't show up in the climber list- so you need to search for Banshee to find it on their site.

Also, I noticed they are listing Climbing America as good to 4. And there is also Veilchenblau that I've heard such nice things about.

good luck.

This post was edited by lola-lemon on Thu, Jan 31, 13 at 13:32

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 10:14PM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

I can't speak to the Banshee report, but Queen of Denmark makes a tallish vase shaped shrub while Climbing American Beauty and Veilchenblau will not be successful climbers in zone 4, having all they can do to survive under the snow let alone keep live canes through -20. Remember what I said, crown hardy and cane hardy are NOT the same...and catalogs will tell you the rose will survive - not to say it will necessarily be the cascading fountain of bloom overhead that you've dreamed about. ;0)
Lola-lemon, I notice you list neither zone nor state in your header; I respectfully presume you are not growing roses in the far north?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 7:27PM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

I live in zone 5b/6a now but I lived in Montana zone 4a for many years and grew roses and some climbers-- that of course didn't ever climb. I also grew roses in Zone 3- though again- no real climbers (Unless you count Doctor Huey- whom did fine in zone 4)

but The Banshee I know came from cuttings at a zone 3 ranch. It is easily 10 feet tall- grown up a wood privacy fence -and it reaches beyond. It's a wall of a rose and suckers and spreads and will fill quite a space of fence, it seems, given the time. It grows even in partial shade. No die back at all. There is a thread here on the forum which discusses Hallies rose-(see here: ) I said it was atleast 7 feet in that thread, but now I know the fence is over 8 feet and it's past it)
anyway -I think my friends have a rose of this same bush. We've tried to identify it exactly, but after reading a document on Paul Barden's site that proposed that there are many "banshees, I decided that ours was a banshee too.

As to the Veilchenblau and Climbing America- High country roses calls them zone 4 roses. I have no experience with them and you may be right. It's true that one can grow a rose for years in a climate below it's stated zone and have it do fine only to have it killed to the ground by an untimely cold snap. But a lot also depends on the sun and wind exposure during winter and some things you can mediate with burlap. Most zone 4 folks protect their hybrid teas in some fashion. If you are willing to prune a John Davis (my neighbor here has one and it's a beast -but there are some nicely done versions on Helpmefind!) into a climber- maybe you'd also spend time winter protecting a rose. It all depends what you want to deal with.
How bad do you want a climbing rose, right? I can't answer that for anyone.
If it was me, I'd grow honeysuckle or maybe a climbing hydrangea or clematis. climbing is tough in cold climates, for sure.

Also there in zone 4a MT is a huge David Austin rose- Can't remember which right now- that has covered a pergola and it's not protected or attached to a building. Atleast 12 feet. I was stunned to find it growing like that frankly. If I can remember which rose it is, I'll list that here.

The other one I forgot about is Austrian Copper. It's not a climber- but you might be able to make it behave like one.

.... if you just want a big blooming rose that is hardy to your zone period- then I vote for Blanc double de coubert or maybe Hansa.
both repeat and are very fragrant and You can probably pick up a cheap body bag this spring at your local big box hardware store.

This post was edited by lola-lemon on Thu, Jan 31, 13 at 13:33

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:13AM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

Nahema is another climber to consider. It is pretty hardy in zone 5a. I got mine at Roses Unlimited.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nahema

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:20AM
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AnneCecilia z5 MI

Sorry if I was touchy last night, Lola-lemon. I just hate it when folks from warmer zones suggest roses based on "I read it's hardy to zone..." After years and years of experimenting with many, many climbers, I hate to see folks with this grand vision based on photos of arbors (probably taken somewhere in the Carolina's or California for Pete's sake) waste so much time, money and effort planting a rose that hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of growing to the appropriate height.
And the Austin you're describing is probably Constance Spry. It is a gorgeous rose, albeit a once bloomer. And she does make it in zone 4 - sometimes and in some locations. A friend of mine grew her for years but finally removed her after 2 devastating winters in a row.
You're right, there is the wrapping and insulating of canes that one can try if one is up to it, but this being the OP's vacation home, I thought it best to keep care simple. But after all, it's JMHO. :-)

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 6:12AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

I understand your thinking annececilia. Growing roses in cold climates has it's differences.
You are probably right with the pergola climber being Constance Spry-- I was thinking it was an older and common one of his.

My last suggestion is to go to Northland Rosarium's site and check there. They have several I have never heard of like Lunar Mist and Leontyne Gervais- which look promising. they also have more common ones that I had forgotten like Alchymist (doesn't celestial rose love this rose?) Ispahan and John Davis, Rosarium Ueterson, blaze improved, veilchenblau, William Baffinand Madame Plantier (didn't realize it was so hardy!), They are mostly bands though- which isn't ideal for a home you aren't at much.

(Oh- and your suggestion of Isabella skinner/Victorian Memory is great. A constant bloomer and fragrant and climbing. sounds like the jackpot!)

I don't know about NR's catalog, but they won't sell a rose on their farm that they don't think will survive locally. I wanted cornelia from them, but they had pulled all of them from sale because an employee had one die over winter- so they felt it was not reliable and wanted to watch it closer. so I think they would stand behind their zone listings.

This post was edited by lola-lemon on Thu, Jan 31, 13 at 13:35

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 1:13PM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

Among the other Explorers, consider John Cabot- I have seen it trained on an archway and it's quite a beauty.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:17PM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

I found the old link from Celestial rose who is in Zone 4 and grows a lot of roses. I've relied on her recommendations often.
In this thread she discusses her climbers as well as others. She doens't protect anything.

Here is a link that might be useful: celestialrose's favorite roses (zone 4)

This post was edited by lola-lemon on Fri, Feb 1, 13 at 12:11

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 2:14AM
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I'm a zone up on you but was recommended Viking Queen by another member here. I purchased it ownroot from Heirloom last summer and it grew gangbusters. This is my first winter with it so unsure of top hardiness but it was bred by Univ. of Minn. and is rated z-4. I also have a John Davis (Can. explorer series) and that has proven to be very hardy but bothered by mildew here and doesn't flower as frequently as Viking Queen. Both have lovely pink flowers.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 8:15AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

Ack- I recommended Queen of Denmark, but I meant Viking Queen. (Hey, scandinavia almost right?)

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:29PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I second (or third?) John Davis or John Cabot, they will both suffer dieback some winters up here but usually they don't. Cabot is horribly, excessively prickly though. I have JD and my mom has JC.

The only two climbers I know of that get REALLY big and don't die back in this climate are William Baffin and Polstjarnan. Polstjarnan is a monster which is in the process of eating my shed.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:00PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Oh yeah, two very tall not-quite-climbers that are really nice are Emily Carr and Hansaland. I bought my mom Emily Carr a few years ago and we've both been shocked what a very tall and in all ways fantastic rose it is.

You might also try Westerland or its sport, Autumn Sunset. I had AS and loved it but it wasn't planted in a good spot and died. I've always wanted to try it again because I'm a huge sucker for yellows and oranges.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:06PM
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Lola, I'm wondering if you are thinking of
"Teasing Georgia"

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:40PM
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I've had surprisingly good luck (in hardiness) with Dortmund. Not easy to find, I think. It's a Kordes rose: 12/15' and single red flowers, repeat bloom, little dieback. Also I've had extremely good growing from "Felicite et Perpetue," a BIG plant that needs the side of a garage (which is where mine grow). Once blooming, but gorgeous white, good foliage and no winter dieback for me. (And we've been having some rough winters lately here.) One more: "Zepherine Drouhin," a quite wonderful raspberry red, thornless, fragrant, medium 10-12'. I'll try to attach a photo of F. et P.(That pic was taken 2 seasons ago: the 3 plants are now about twice that volume.)

Now I'm speaking from zone 5, and I really can't say whether these are as strong in zone 4. BTW: Some of these hard-to-find varieties are usually available from Hortico, which, despite some inexcusable shipping mix-ups, still has the best selection of hard-to-find varieties.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 2:29PM
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I can vouch for: John Davis, John Cabot and William Baffin. They are all very hardy, ferocious (thorny) 10 feet climbers in my garden. I love the Kordes climbers - I have "Rosarium Uetersen", but it's more like a large shrub to 6 feet. I also have a huge climber that I believe is called, "That's Jazz" and it's over 9 feet tall. Other climbers in my yard that have only grown to 6-7 feet are:Darlow's Engima, Ramblin' Red and Colette. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 2:00PM
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I am looking for two climbing for over an arbor in the entry to my yard and one is for a pergola in my yard. I am in z6 (MA) and I am looking for as disease resistant a rose as I can get cuz I won't be spraying them. I really love Eden, but I was told she isn't a repeat bloomer and can be susceptible to rust (or some other nasty). Stinks cuz I love that kind of rose. I was also looking a Zephrine Dourhin cuz she is supposed to be thornless, but I think she may get too big. I like Jasmina & Renae also. I just would like a rose that can grow well w/o spraying and that flowers a lot without having crazy thorns or trying to eat my arbor. Should I rub a lamp? Lol.
Also, I have been scouring for Pretty Jessica and only found her "banded". I am a newbie & have no idea what that means. Anyone have an idea? Ty in advance

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 9:02PM
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